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There have been a lot of improvements to the search engine in SharePoint Server 2010 and while, of course, many of those changes are behind the scenes, the experience of using search in a SharePoint site has also changed. But search is still everywhere in SharePoint as it's always been. Typically you'll find your search box on the upper-right section of every page. Although if you have shifted your page into a different editing Ribbon mode, you may not see the search box, so make sure you're in Browse mode to look at it.
When you search, SharePoint will still return information from pages, from documents in your sites, and depending on how your administrators have configured it even from external sites and from external sources like shared folders and Exchange public folders. One new feature of the search in SharePoint 2010 is the idea of being able to refine your results. Here, we're actually seeing that our result type includes web pages, PowerPoint, and Word. I can simply select one of those to filter down the search results to just Word documents.
Go back to any result type and I can select from particular authors as well. If I have Office Web Apps installed, I'll also see the option with supported documents to view directly in the browser from the search results page, which can be a very quick way of finding your content. Not only that, but I also have this icon on the Search Results page. If I click it, it's actually allowing me to add a new search connector to Windows. If I know that I'm going to be searching this location a lot and I don't want to have to open up a browser, I can actually add it to the search results in Windows itself, so that I can directly search SharePoint sites from Windows itself.
There're also some changes in how you can search. In SharePoint 2007, we couldn't do wildcard searches and now we can, using an asterisk at the end of a word to actually find anything that matches it. As you can see on the right, if certain words and terms have been added to our profile information, we'll actually see people matches on these results as well, allowing us to do just a people search for that word. If the results come back and they include you, it'll give you a prompt to update your profile and your keywords.
In this search, I can also enter in AND and NOT and Boolean operators to actually exclude some results too. So, as you can see, while searching is still intuitive, it's become much more powerful in SharePoint 2010.
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